If you are cruising around the food pages and blogs, most of the recipes posted at this time of the year are barbecue-centric. There is nothing wrong with that – I love BBQ! But I thought why not be a little different and put together a yummy morning menu for you all. So, just in time for Father’s Day, here is a trio of recipes to make a delicious breakfast or brunch for the favorite men in your life! Orange juice is the standard American breakfast drink, but why go with normal when you can make it a little more special for fun occasions! This orange smoothie gives you a healthy start to your day and if you want to, you can add a little champagne for a celebratory sparkle, LOL!
We all love pancakes, but if you add a little ricotta cheese and lemon zest, they become downright heavenly. You can serve these with maple syrup if you like, but I think that masks their delicate flavor. Simply dust with powdered sugar for an elegant presentation and if you want to, sprinkle a little lemon juice over the top. A few fresh berries and you’ve got the perfect sweet morning treat. And just so we have something savory to balance the sweetness, here is a recipe for a mock cheese soufflé. When you are serving a group, the last thing you want to be doing is worrying whether breakfast will turn out. This is a foolproof way of making light and airy cheesy eggs. Besides, you assemble it the night before and all you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning and bake for about 45 minutes. This is the perfect amount of time to make the hotcakes and have everything on the table at the same time, piping hot and ready to elicit smiles and groans of delight from your guests!
All three of these great recipes are in the New York Times Country Weekend Cookbook. It contains recipes from some of this country’s best-loved chefs, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, and celebrities. It is the perfect guide to hosting successful weekend events. It has recipes to cover all tastes and times of the year and it even has a chart that offers shortcuts to choosing the dishes that fit your needs and schedule. So, if you are a first time host, or an experienced party thrower, you will find fun new things to try and your guests will go home lauding the best Bed and Breakfast in your town!
Jane’s Hints and Tips:
Take a hint from professional restaurants. If you warm your plates in the oven (after you have taken the soufflé out and turned it off), your food will stay warm longer at the table. Serving your beverages in fancy glasses makes every meal feel special, and children feel like they are grown ups.
Modified from a Molly O’Neill recipe
Yield: 3 servings (most blenders will hold about 4 to 5 cups liquid)
1-1/2 cups milk
3 ripe bananas
6 tbsp honey
1-1/2 cups orange juice
1-1/2 cups crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Make ahead: Combine the milk, orange juice and honey the night before. In the morning, pour into a blender, add the bananas and ice, and blend until light and frothy. Serve in fancy glasses with a sprig of mint for an extra touch of class.
Modified from a Dorie Greenspan recipe
Yield: about 20 small hotcakes
1-1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Blackberries for garnish, optional
In another bowl, beat the ricotta, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla together until smooth; set aside.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and zest. Using a rubber spatula, stir dry ingredients gently into the ricotta mixture. Stir a spoonful of whipped egg whites into the batter, and then gently fold in the remainder until no streaks are visible.
Lightly grease the heated griddle with a little vegetable oil. Drop 3 tbsp of batter for each hotcake on the griddle, allowing space for spreading. Cook until golden on the bottom and the top shows a bubble or two. Gently flip, and cook until the undersides are light brown. Transfer to the oven to keep warm until all hotcakes are made. Dust with powdered sugar and top with berries, if desired.
Mock Cheese Soufflé
Modified from a Julia Reed recipe
Yield: 6 servings
This dish can be made the night before and popped into the oven for a simple, but elegant brunch. Or you might enjoy it at lunch, along with a green salad and a glass of wine.
Softened butter for greasing dish and spreading on bread
8 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Dash of cayenne pepper
Butter an 8-cup (2 quart) soufflé dish that can go from refrigerator to oven. Check the bottom of the dish or packaging to be sure. Butter each slice of bread on one side and cut into four squares. Layer half the bread, buttered side up, in the bottom of the dish. Cover with half the grated cheese. Repeat with rest of bread and cheese. Place the eggs, salt, milk, Worcestershire, and cayenne in a bowl and mix well. Pour over the bread and cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Uncover the soufflé dish and bake on the center rack until the top is browned and the soufflé is bubbling around the edges, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let set at least 15 minutes before cutting. This helps it hold its shape when removed from the baking dish.
For a stunning plate, mentally divide a plate into thirds. Place a piece of the soufflé in one-third of warmed plate, and arrange a few hotcakes overlapping each other in a second third. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the hotcakes and top with a few fresh berries. Slice a couple of red and green apples into wedges (or you can use any seasonal fruit like watermelon, plums, grapes, or nectarines.) Set a few of the apple wedges (alternating red and green) on the third part of the plate. Finish with a couple of mint sprigs in the center. Your guests will appreciate your extra effort to create the beautiful presentation!